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Understanding Society – Insights 2017 report published today

New Insights into UK society today from longitudinal research

Understanding Society has published its sixth annual report highlighting new, topical, policy-relevant research which provides vital evidence for policy change.

Launching at tonight’s policy event in London, this year’s Insights report covers three key policy areas: low pay and work, adult mental health and work/life balance. The report includes commentary from Kate Bell from the Trades Union Congress, Peter Cheese, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and Paul Farmer of Mind.

Led by a team at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, Understanding Society is an innovative world-leading study researching 21st century UK life and how it is changing over time.

Susan Harkness, Director of Understanding Society’s Policy Unit said, ‘Many policy problems are better understood with longitudinal data such as Understanding Society. It is used to help understand income and poverty dynamics; family stability; and work and pay progression. Specifically, the type of questions that were addressed in this edition of Insights help us understand more about the implications of changes in the labour market for future job prospects, inequalities in mental health and challenges and successes in balancing the demands of work and home lives.

Chapter by chapter

  • Theme one highlights new insights into people’s work histories and experiences. The chapter builds a picture of the progression and change in people’s working lives.
  • Theme two investigates the wellbeing of adults in the UK by looking at the mental health of ethnic minority people, adults with likely intellectual disabilities, people with socio-economic disadvantage and the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual community.
  • Theme three studies people’s working lives, their home lives and how the two interact. Flexible working arrangements and caregiving are also explored.

Download the data

Explore Understanding Society data; available to download from the UK Data Service.

Read Insights 2017